Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jane Rule

I read today that the writer Jane Rule passed away. She is probably most famous for writing the lesbian novel "Desert of the Heart", but my favorite book of hers was "Memory Board". I remember first reading her works from the bookshelves at the Women's Center in Oswego, NY, in 1976. This center was my home away from home during my last year and a half of college. It was a very active Center, with birth control classes and consciousness-raising groups. The library had a very complete collection of feminist literature. I had read (and proudly carried around) some feminist books as early as high school, but I had never before read any novels with women and lesbians as the main characters. I devoured all those books.

The cover art for these books was quite different from the mainstream books at the time. The colors were not as bright and the binding was sometimes quite poorly done - obviously the budgets for printing them were very low. But reading them was revelatory to me, opening up another world, allowing me to imagine some future where I could be partnered with a woman for more than 25 years, where we could be integrated into a community. But I must say, nothing in those books prepared me for a kitchen remodel!

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